How To Compost Wood Chips Fast

Composting wood chips is more complex than a typical backyard compost pile. Wood chips are an abundant carbon source, eco-friendly, and organically rottable. Today’s post will show about Composting wood chips in a better and faster way.

Reading thoroughly will help you experience how your wood chips could add more organic material to the soil. This article will also solve your doubt about its pros and cons and guide whether to approach it.

Can I compost wood chips?

Yes, chips are entirely compostable. Composting is a method for recycling nearly all organic materials, including waste chips. Composting wood chips provide an essential supply of nutrients and introduce helpful fungi to the composting process.

There are a few wood chips issues as a composting medium. Hence some gardeners are against using them. Wood chips provide a vital and frequently inexpensive organic material to support your composting efforts and raise the final product’s nutrient content. 

Wood chips can be added to compost. However, The process will function best if the wood chips are as small as possible, preferably 1-2 inches at most, if you wish to compost wood chips. Utilizing strategies like hot composting or nitrogen composting will assist.

For faster composting of wood chips:

  • Hot composting is a prodigious way to accelerate the composting process.
  • Give a layer of branches at the bottom.
  • Add older compost/soil. 
  • Have a hot water bottle to kick-start your compost.
  • Have a compost duvet.
  • Turn the compost.
  • Generate Free Air Space in your compost.
  • Applying nitrogen-rich materials.
  • Adjusting the moisture ratio right.

Are wood chips suitable for composting?

Wood chips can be added to improve the carbon: nitrogen ratio in a compost pile. Since they are less likely to compact due to their complex structure, wood chips help enhance air movement through the compost. This is advantageous.

Using wood chips in compost: Pros & Cons

Composting Wood chips has the following advantages:

Provide abundant humus to enhance the soil.

Wood chips can be beneficial for a composting pile since they contain a lot of carbon (C: N=400:1); therefore, if the size is tamped down, they will provide more browns if your composting pile needs them.

However, because a large portion of that carbon is trapped in a stable substance, they also offer the appropriate amount of carbon when required. Additionally, wood chips will soak up extra water and gradually release it to the compost pile as needed.

Wood chips give your pile a lot of air pockets, which provides bacteria with a good surface area to adhere to and a nice balance of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and water.

Wood chips are ill-suited for most composting for the following reasons:

  • New wood chips can be very acidic.
  • Non-aged chips extract nitrogen from the soil as they break down along with heat. 
  • Slow decomposition rate as more significant pieces take time
  • The complex woody pieces take years for fungus to break down.
  • They contain minimum nitrogen, so you’ll need to add green material to wood chips in compost.

The acidity of composted wood chips

Some types of decomposed wood chips may cause the soil to become more acidic. For instance, the wood chips acidifying effect can happen, but not all wood plants do this. Your soil needs it, even when you’re working with a tree whose chips will somewhat acidify the ground. 

Woodchips buried in the ground kill soil-dwelling fungus. Composting follows. Wood chips will reduce the pH of the soil, making it more acidic. This is advantageous for plants that require acids, such as evergreen trees and shrubs, but it might be detrimental to other plants.

The addition of wood chips might cause the soil to become overly acidic in regions where it is already neutral or acidic. In summary, apply fresh food chips to acidic soil and use wood chips to alkaline soil.

The ph of composted wood chips

Even dry normal woodchip compost pH is not far from 7. Radial woodchip compost pH is quite near 6.8. Fresh wood chips’ pH hits four or below, which is highly acidic.

How long for wood chips take to compost

Composting wood chips is a labor-intensive procedure that can take three to four years to complete. The process takes longer as the size of the chips increases. The most straightforward technique to compost wood chips is to heat them.

If you choose a smaller size below 1inch and add water and nitrogenize resources together with the wood chips to speed up decomposition, the procedure will take a year.

How to compost wood chips fast? (keyword: composting wood chips fast, adding wood chips to compost)

If you want to compost wood chips quickly, make sure the chips are as thin as possible, check your compost heap’s carbon-nitrogen ratio, and flip the bank frequently. Since wood chips’ carbon content is higher, you should increase the nitrogen content of your compost by adding grass clippings, fruit and vegetable scraps, or even old coffee grounds. Turn your compost pile more frequently and add ingredients high in nitrogen. 

The most straightforward technique to compost wood chips is to heat them. After carbon and nitrogen, oxygen and water are the only two components lacking. To boost the heat, ensure the wood chips aeration as you turn them.

Composting grass clippings and wood chips

Because of their high nitrogen content, grass clippings make a great addition to a compost pile.

Composting horse manure and wood chips

A significant amount of a brown component can be added to the compost when adding horse dung to a wood chips compost pile.

Composting wood chips and chicken manure

The best conditions for maturation are created by aerating and adding more nitrogen to the chicken manure’s mixture with sawdust and wood.

Composting wood chips and cow manure

Compost maturity increases when combining wood chips and manure from cows for a better aerobic facility.

Composting wood chips with urea

To hasten and improve the uniformity of the decomposition of wood chips, urea can be added to them.

Composting wood chips with urine

Urine-damp woodchips are an efficient source of heat, carbon dioxide, and compost for a winter greenhouse. 

Where to buy composted wood chips

The best wood chips for composting should be made from chipped tree trimmings that have sufficiently rotted. Contact a local farmer for an excellent option for tree-ringing, garden walkways, and shrub beds. Avoid buying from recyclers of wood like paper and lumber businesses. Avoid chemically processed foods at all costs.

Best wood chips for compost

Most woods, including Sapele, apple, ash, maple, peach, pine, poplar, and oak, yield sawdust that can be composted at home or used as mulch or animal bedding. The material from the lathe or power planer’s larger shavings can either be composted or used to pave garden walkways. The optimal size is typically more minor, down to 1 or 12 inches.

Commercial wood chip composting advice

Use more nitrogen supplements:

Nitrogen that wood takes from its environment and then decomposes uses a substantial part of nitrogen. The commercial approach typically adds ammonium sulfate for more considerable nitrogen demands.

Combining wood chips with a high-nitrogen material like poultry manure may resolve both the nitrogen and timing difficulties. The food and fertilizer experts advise mixing wood chips and poultry dung in a 1:1 volume ratio.

Ready fire control:

Additionally, they adhere to local fire marshal regulations to maintain commercial wood chip heaps under control, with suitable surface-area-to-volume ratios, moisture content, and airflow to preclude sudden combustion. 

Avoid pressure-treated wood products:

Make sure that none of the wood chips from commercial sources come from pressure-treated wood products when composting them. However, because pressure-treated wood contains potentially harmful chemicals, chips that comprise construction waste or sawdust from completed timber should not be used in soil for crops meant for human consumption.

Wood chips for composting toilet

Compost piles at home shouldn’t contain wood chips or shavings. However, very thin wood shavings will function better as compost toilet wood chips even if they are slow to decompose in compost and do enable odors to escape. Wood shavings can be used more effectively in more extensive, municipal-scale compost piles. Wood chips toiletry should thus not be used.

Are wood chips suitable for the compost pile?

In general, woodchip spread work is considerably more straightforward and quicker. The final product of composting will resemble woods humus when there is no trace of the original wood, and the material has been reduced by about 50%.

There won’t ever be any weeds growing there. You won’t ever need to cover it because the procedure usually requires moisture from rain. Most of the dangerous compounds in wood from poisonous plants, including yew, will break down over time or during the composting process.


Are composted wood chips suitable for a garden?

Good. More nitrogen is needed than what is found in the wood chips alone by the microbes that break down wood chips. The microorganisms will compete with plant roots for the nitrogen in the soil if additional nitrogen is not added to the wood chips compost preparation. This is why compost made from wood chips prevents weed growth.

Coffee grounds good compost

Coffee grinds are one of the simplest food wastes to compost and are suitable for your soil. Additionally, if you often drink coffee, you’ll be able to add grounds to your bin or pile regularly. Although certain nutrients from coffee grounds are removed during brewing, many continue to be present even after brewing.

Are wood chips acid or base 

  • Often acidic.  
  • New wood chips can be very acidic  
  • Radial woodchip is slightly acidic
  • Dry regular woodchip is nearly neutral

Can I put compost on top of wood chips?

No, don’t spread compost on top of wood chips or mulch. The organic compost’s natural supplies of nitrogen will be destroyed by sunshine. In addition, weeds will grow in compost that has been spread over mulch. Rake mulch to the side and apply compost straight to the soil instead.

Can wood chips help to adjust the moisture in the compost?

By giving water more surface area to condense, a thick layer of wood chip mulch can maximize moisture collection from morning dew. Additionally, it can catch rainwater that would otherwise run off your property if there wasn’t a substantial layer of mulch covering it.

Wood chips keep the soil from getting too wet by shielding it from the sun’s rays, wind, and other elements and providing a surface to water to adhere to.

Can you compost small chips of wood?

The process takes less time, and the smaller the chips. Due to their lower cellulose content, white molds and other bacteria are promoted, and dusty wood chips are simpler to decompose than their larger counterparts.

The cycle of several microbes gradually increases the available nitrogen. More minor wood chips appeal to fungi, allowing for easier and quicker decomposition. Therefore, the composting process will proceed most effectively and quickly when tiny wood chips, typically 1-2 inches, are added to the compost.


People who exclude wood chips composting are missing out on a significant carbon source for the finished compost. But using wood chips in your compost requires changing your approach. To use woodchips as compost-making sources needs a brave and knowledgeable mind.

We have made you wise here in many ways; now the rest depends on your courage to get the most out of the wood chips stock and get them to break down fast. Also read How Long Does It Take For Tree Branches To Decompose?

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